Our social structures can support us when we are down, give us community, and friendship and love. In short, they can save us.
But it seems like they can also prop up our bad decisions in a flawless example of group-think.
You believe X? Me too.
Or: “I did X too, therefore, X is permissible.”
For while a pilot, with a new theory of flight, will deal directly with his fallacious philosophy, a tenured professor will likely have little repercussion for an obtuse suggestion.
Based on my experience, the more outlandish and provoking a new theory, the better it usually is for the professor.
I think this can be the same with our family, and friends, and jobs.
I have not gotten to that particular book yet (Although I have read all but one of his others.), but I believe this is the point that Nassim Taleb is making in his book, Skin In The Game.
Trust less the people insulated for their mistakes.
But here’s the salient point: poker players and stock investors who don’t learn to control their instinctive deference to sunk costs go broke. They lose all their money and can’t play poker or invest in stocks anymore. By contrast, the average person whose sunk costs have made him so irrationally stubborn that he has effectively reached intellectual bankruptcy just trundles right along, mostly, sustained by habits and social structures that prevent him from paying the full price for his error. There’s no reason why a flat-earther, with his commitment to
flat-escalated to the max, can’t also be a good insurance adjuster. (You just wouldn’t want him designing navigation systems for spacecraft.) earthery
-Alan Jacobs, How To Think